22 C
Byron Shire
December 1, 2021

Council’s power

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Matthew O’Reilly

I refer to Ian Pickles’ letter, titled ‘Developers’ power’ (Letters, 10 February).

Generally, I must agree with most of what Ian wrote in his letter, but I want to point out two glaring errors.

Firstly, the NSW Government Standard Instrument does NOT require multi-dwelling housing be permissible in the R2 Low Density Residential Zone. Including multi-dwelling housing in the R2 zone as permissible continues to be a purely voluntary decision by Byron Council.

Secondly, one has only to read the old Byron Development Control Plan (DCP) 2010 Chapter 1 Part C – Residential Development and compare it to the current Byron Local Environment Plan (LEP) 2014 and DCP 2014 to see that the planning provisions under Jan Barham and past Green councils were far less permissive of overdevelopment, and put more restrictions in place, which benefited the wider community and neighbours.

One example is that under the pre-2014 regime multi-dwelling housing could only occur on lots 1200m2 or larger, with a minimum street frontage of 25m. Under the post-2014 regime multi-dwelling housing could occur on lots 1000m2 or larger, with no minimum street frontage.

Another example is that the pre-2014 regime stipulates the minimum site area required per dwelling in multi-dwelling housing (between 200m2 and 300m2 per dwelling depending on the dwelling floor area). The post-2014 regime has no such minimum site area requirement.

While the above two examples may not have prevented the Bian Court, Ocean Shores development being approved, there are many other parts of the old 2010 DCP chapters that certainly would have made its approval more difficult.

The 1988 LEP and 2010 DCP were amended and changed dozens of times up to 2014, and each change was in response to community concerns about overdevelopment and improved environmental sustainability. Perhaps Byron Council should look at what was in the old LEP and DCP, but which were not carried over into the 2014 LEP and DCP.

It seems the majority of Councillors over the last nine years have not properly understood the history or context of where the Byron community has come from and how it has arrived at the amazing place it is today. Byron’s former Greens Mayor, Jan Barham, is a walking encyclopedia of Byron’s political history and her knowledge of Byron’s historical local government and planning is second to none. Yet since she left office it seems all of Byron’s organisational memory left the Council chambers with her.


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